A cargo ship under investigation in a possible oil pollution case will be able to leave Unalaska, after its owner posted bond on Thursday.
The 600-foot M/V Lindavia, owned by Herm. Dauelsberg of Germany, has been detained by the U.S. Coast Guard in Unalaska for the past two weeks.
Kevin Feldis, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage, says the ship’s owner signed a security agreement with the Coast Guard to let them leave port.
“Part of that agreement: they’ve posted a $500,000 bond that will be available for any potential future penalties or criminal fines,” Feldis says.
The Lindavia can now take its seafood cargo onto its destination in Japan. But Feldis says some of the crew will stay behind in Alaska.
“A portion of the crew will be brought here to Anchorage, and the company is paying for that in order to make them available for the ongoing investigation,” he says. “Of course, like in any vessel investigation, the crew members are the ones who know what happened on the vessel and the ones who potentially have information related to any alleged environmental crimes.”
The Lindavia was still anchored outside Dutch Harbor on Friday afternoon, with Coast Guard officers from the local marine safety detachment on board. Warrant Officer Dustin Overturf says he expects the ship will be able to leave town by Saturday.
The Coast Guard is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate whether the crew mis-handled oil waste aboard the ship, among other potential issues: “Whether the proper records were kept, whether there were discharges overboard,” says Kevin Feldis. “These are the types of questions we look into in all of these vessel pollution cases.”
Feldis’ office just wrapped up another one of those on Friday. A different German company, AML Ship Management, entered an official guilty plea for oil pollution crimes after signing a plea dealearlier this month.